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macintyre

Good or Bad Idea?

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Has anyone had their propane furnace operating while moving down the road.

I have not seen this addressed in prior topics.

Leaving from cold climate in January and heading warm, thought about putting furnace on an hour or so prior to stopping. I am pulling a 5ver.

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I have not ever done that. I find that the trailer warms up pretty quickly when you stop. It seems to me that the wind leaking in all the places that it does on most trailers means you would be loosing a lot of heat while moving.

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Yeah, the furnace can take the trailer from high 40's or low 50's to upper 60's fairly quickly. If you have a space heater + the furnace, it can be even more quckly.  

I would think as you travel to warmer climates, the trailer its self will equalize with the outside temperature so once you get to warmer climates, it will also warm up. You shoudn't have that far to bring it up to a comfortable tempature once you get to your destination. 

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I have not done this, but I also have not had a need to do it.  I do know of people who have.  If I were traveling through freezing temperatures with a non-winterized trailer, I would do it to keep pipes/tanks from freezing.

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We will do this if we are traveling in cold temps because we have live plants and do not want them to die. We keep our plants on the shower floor when traveling and set the furnace to 45 which keeps the bathroom warm enough to protect the plants for the few hours we are traveling. 

 

Edited by Chalkie

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I was told when I bought our camper recently to DO NOT run the water heater going down the road unless I wanted to be pulling a giant fireball down the road.  They said nothing about the furnace, I guess I should have asked about that too.  They said the fridge is ok on gas going down the road.  I'm also curious about the furnace now as I live in the frigid north.

Edited by NDBirdman

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I only done this from 1976 thru 1988 with no problems. After that I always leave the furnace on while traveling as the  engine heater sometimes will not keep up especially if you start with a cold rig.

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9 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

I was told when I bought our camper recently to DO NOT run the water heater going down the road unless I wanted to be pulling a giant fireball down the road. 

Who told you this? I have run both the furnace and the water heater while traveling in cold weather and neither one has ever been a problem. It is possible that either one could fail to light if wind and conditions were just wrong, but both appliances have a flame detector built into them that will turn off the gas and go into lock-out if that should happen. 

11 hours ago, macintyre said:

Has anyone had their propane furnace operating while moving down the road.

When traveling in cold weather with our motorhome we often used the furnace as the automobile heater isn't large enough to keep the entire coach at comfortable temperatures. 

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We regularly run one or both of our furnaces while underway in cold weather. We don't normally run the water heater while underway, but only because we usually turn it off until it's needed, and there's usually enough warm water for the day's trip duration anyway. When we had an RV fridge, we ran that as well, but our current residential fridge doesn't run on propane, so that's not an issue.

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Allot depends on the location of the intake vent and wind direction.  There won't be a fireball but it is possible to have heater misfire  over and over causing the heater to cycling.  Not being in the trailer while it is going down the road there is no way of knowing if this is happening so we  leave the heater and HW tank off when on the road.

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39 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

Who told you this?

 

Dealership in Mandan, ND that sold it to us.  We don't know any difference, have not had a camper in a loooong time, we're learning slowly.

 

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9 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Dealership in Mandan, ND that sold it to us. 

Interesting. I'm betting it was a salesman?  You will find that salespeople are notoriously bad sources of information about RVs, or probably anything else. The vast majority actually know little of the products that they sell and are just there to try and make a quick buck. It is the reason that most of them move around so much. There are a few out there who actually know their products and occasionally one that is fairly honest as well, but they are not typical. 

It may be that the water heater is located in a position that it won't stay lighted but all of them have had safety features built into them to shut off the propane if the flame doesn't light and stay lit, for many, many years.  There are those who advocate never traveling with the propane turned on and there is a small additional risk if you do so, but RV systems are designed to be safe to use while traveling. If you travel in severe cold weather with a trailer and have water in the RV but no heat you should be sure not to travel for too many hours or you will freeze your water system. Even motorhomes can get pretty cold if only the cab heater is operating while traveling in extreme weather.

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1 hour ago, Kirk Wood said:

Interesting. I'm betting it was a salesman?  You will find that salespeople are notoriously bad sources of information about RVs, or probably anything else. The vast majority actually know little of the products that they sell and are just there to try and make a quick buck. It is the reason that most of them move around so much. There are a few out there who actually know their products and occasionally one that is fairly honest as well, but they are not typical.

Absolutely accurate observation. The dealership where we ultimately purchased our RV had caused us to walk out a couple times due the worthlessness of the salespersons in answering our questions. Third time was a charm we got a salesman that blew us away with his knowledge. We asked why he knew so much when others didn't and his reply was "I am the only salesman here that actually owns an RV."

He was also present with us during the RV PDI to make sure the tech was covering everything that should be covered.

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Macintyre GREAT QUESTION.

  In the past over years and years, I like so many others, have operated LP Gas appliances while driving down the road in several different makes n models of motorhomes and NEVER  had a problem (but was never in a crash with sparks or flames either). Although, I suspect on some units the wind and air flow might extinguish the flame in which case built in safety control features can close off the units gas valve. That being said, as I a retired engineer grow older and less willing to take any "reasonably avoidable" risks and become more and more safety conscious, I no longer run LP Gas appliances when driving, and to be even safer I turn the gas OFF at the tank. In the event of a crash and sparks or flames its just safer if gas is OFF at the tank versus busted gas lines spewing out gas WELL DUH !!!!!!!!!!!

 Sooooooooooo 1) Will it work ?? Probably YESSSSSSSSSSSSS  and likely never a problem. 2) Is it as safe as not operating a gas appliance while driving with gas OFF at the tank NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, another WELL DUH.

 This is strictly a persons free choice NOT what any of us think. What risks one person is willing to take while others are not rests on the user alone REGARDLESS how much of a risk it "may or may not" be and REGARDLESS what a dealer or salesman suggests.

NOTE I'm NOT saying how "safe or unsafe" it may be orrrrrrrrrrr if its "recommended or not recommend as safe", I'm ONLY saying its safer when driving in the event of a crash and sparks and/or fire    IF GAS IS TURNED OFF................  

 Its YOUR RV,,,,,,,,,,, its YOUR life,,,,,,,,,,,,, its YOUR risk,,,,,,,,,,,,, so do your homework and make YOUR own informed decision REGARDLESS what we or dealers or salesmen may think. Just because someone here "does or does not" travel "with gas on or off" or operates gas appliances doesn't mean its right for you in your particular rig.

 

 God Bless all here, keep safe now  

John T

   

Edited by oldjohnt

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2 hours ago, oldjohnt said:

This is strictly a persons free choice NOT what any of us think. What risks one person is willing to take while others are not rests on the user alone REGARDLESS how much of a risk it "may or may not" be and REGARDLESS what a dealer or salesman suggests.

Has anyone actually seen an RV accident that involved a propane fire? In my years of RVing I have seen one or two pictures that were purported to have been crash caused propane fires but I have not seen even one such case in person. No doubt that there is some increase in risk when propane is turned on, even though all modern RV propane supplies are required to have a "stop flow" valve that will shut off the propane if a line should be ruptured. How much risk is there? I have never seen any "expert" make even a guess about that. 

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3 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

How much risk is there? I have never seen any "expert" make even a guess about that.

 Good afternoon Kirk, to answer your question, in 47 years of continual RV use I just don't know "how much risk is there" like I said it "may or MAY NOT be".  As I noted its a persons free choice regarding what risks they are willing to take or not. I do know if there were flames or sparks from a road accident Id prefer NOT to have a busted line spewing out LP Gas. To each their own life and safety choices and what degree, albeit small, of risks they are willing to take on. Some may choose to use LP Gas appliances when driving down the road and some may prefer for safety reasons (regardless of the risk or degree or probability) NOT, and that's perfectly fine with me.  To each their own.

John T

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5 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

Has anyone actually seen an RV accident that involved a propane fire? In my years of RVing I have seen one or two pictures that were purported to have been crash caused propane fires but I have not seen even one such case in person. No doubt that there is some increase in risk when propane is turned on, even though all modern RV propane supplies are required to have a "stop flow" valve that will shut off the propane if a line should be ruptured. How much risk is there? I have never seen any "expert" make even a guess about that. 

I too have never heard of running a furnace causing an accident, and modern technology prevents any chance of  a major catastrophe. But if you feel unsafe, don't do it. A fiend bought a rv a couple of years ago, it hasn't left his driveway for over a year because of all the bad things that COULD happen to him if he drives it.

Edited by jcussen

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8 minutes ago, jcussen said:

I too have never heard of running a furnace causing an accident, and modern technology prevents any chance of  a major catastrophe. But if you feel unsafe, don't do it. A fiend bought a rv a couple of years ago, it hasn't left his driveway for over a year because of all the bad things that COULD happen it him if he drives it.

They shouldn’t sell RVs to fiends.

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13 minutes ago, dzwiss said:

They shouldn’t sell RVs to fiends.

He was okay until he started reading on the forums too many, "the sky is falling, chicken little" stories.

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3 hours ago, dzwiss said:

They shouldn’t sell RVs to fiends

  Right, just sell them to ENEMIES lol

3 hours ago, dzwiss said:

A fiend bought a rv a couple of years ago, it hasn't left his driveway for over a year because of all the bad things that COULD happen it him if he drives it.

Heck tell him people have been injured climbing out of bed or into the tub, living and breathing may be hazardous to your health !!!!! That dude best sell it if he's afraid to use it.

3 hours ago, jcussen said:

I too have never heard of running a furnace causing an accident

  FWIW I was a used RV dealer and drove motorhomes while running the furnace and I NEVER had an accident "as a result of doing that" either............I'M  VERY GLAD ALSO, some were expensive rigs LOL 

 

 Fun discussion, yall take care now, keep safe n God Bless

 John T    Still in the RV in Austin Texas where its been in the seventies yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Edited by oldjohnt

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On 11/28/2017 at 12:51 PM, NDBirdman said:

I was told when I bought our camper recently to DO NOT run the water heater going down the road unless I wanted to be pulling a giant fireball down the road.  They said nothing about the furnace, I guess I should have asked about that too.  They said the fridge is ok on gas going down the road.  I'm also curious about the furnace now as I live in the frigid north.

Did whoever told you that about not running the LP water heater provide any references? I've ran the water heater, furnace, refrigerator many times while driving over the past 40 years, haven't had a fire yet. The world is full of unsubstantiated yarns, always ask for documentation.

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The only LP water heater related RV fire I recall reading about was when someone accidentally sprayed gasoline into his operating heater while refueling their Class B. Turning off all LP appliances when refueling is recommended of course, but especially when the appliance is located near the fuel filler...

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The comments you all gave are much appreciated. It is easy to see that we all have our own thoughts on whether we can use our propane appliances while being on the move. I take each opinion you presented seriously and I thank you for taking the time to answer.

The Forum is a great place to get informed by those that are RV users.

 

Safe travel to each of you.

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I am always amused when folks are so concerned about driving with the propane on and the scare stories related to the issue.  Yet everyone totally ignores the "elephant in the room" that last year 37,000 people were killed in accidents on the USA highways.  Not to mention the untold thousands that are seriously injured each year.  This carnage happens, year after year, after year. 

If you want to worry about something worry about just driving on the highways in any vehicle. 

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13 minutes ago, Al F said:

If you want to worry about something worry about just driving on the highways in any vehicle. 

Al, THATS EXACTYL RIGHT (especially when you said "any vehicle").......... Ive been driving BOTH my Honda as well as Motorhome here in Austin Texas lately and watching the news there's an accident like daily.

 Keep safe yall and take as many safety precautions as reasonably possible is my advice in your car, trucks and especially RV's

God Bless n keep safe

John T  

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